June 4, 2004
Body Identified - Johnson Woman
By Gary E. Lindsley
A body found Wednesday afternoon by a search team in a heavily wooded area near Johnson has been positively identified as that of a 35-year-old woman missing since May 27.
In a press release issued late Thursday afternoon, Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux stated Chief Medical Examiner Paul Morrow identified the body as Jodie Whitney, of Johnson.
Edgar Whitney, the woman's husband, was taken to Copley Hospital in Morrisville Wednesday after intentionally overdosing on pills. He was transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.
It was reported on statewide television Thursday that if Whitney is released from the hospital today, he will most likely be arraigned in Lamoille County Court in connection with his wife's death.
According to Marcoux, it was information from family members after Whitney's suicide attempt which led to the discovery of what they believed to be Jodie's body.
She was found about 2 p.m. Wednesday well off the beaten path, deep in a wooded area within five miles the Whitneys' home.
While Marcoux was holding a press conference late Wednesday afternoon regarding Whitney's suicide attempt and the discovery of the body, Whitney was allegedly confessing to killing his wife, according to police.
Whitney notified police around 10 p.m. May 27 that his wife had not returned home. She also had not gone to work at the Stoweflake Resort in Stowe that day. He had last seen her that morning before he left for work.
Jodie's white Jeep Cherokee was found by a citizen within five miles the Whitney home May 28.
Prior to the discovery of Jodie's body, Edgar's overdose and his confession, Marcoux and Lt. Leo Bachand, state police Troop B criminal division commander, had set up a meeting for 10 a.m. today with New Hampshire State Police and FBI agents to discuss the disappearances of Jodie, 17-year-old Brianna Maitland of Sheldon, Vt., and 22-year-old Maura Murray of Hanson, Mass.
The meeting has been postponed until 10 a.m. Thursday.
Murray, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst nursing student, has been missing since she was involved in a minor one-car accident on Route 112 in Haverhill, N.H. Feb. 9.
Maitland has been missing since she clocked out of work at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery, Vt. late the night of March 19.
Her car was discovered early the next morning partially ensconced in an abandoned building about a mile from the inn.